CAR_Public/011205.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
               Wednesday, December 5, 2001, Vol. 3, No. 237

                            Headlines


AETNA INC.: Bernard Gross Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. Pennsylvania
AETNA INC.: Savett Frutkin Initiates Securities Suit in Pennsylvania
APROPOS TECHNOLOGY: Stull Stull Commences Securities Suit in N.D. IL
ARVIDA/JMB PARTNERS: Discovery In FL Homeowners' Suit In Early Stages  
BAXTER INTERNATIONAL: Company Consents To $2.89M In Spanish Payments

CANADA: Court Dismisses Suit Claiming Court Security Checks "Illegal"
ENRON CORPORATION: Gold Bennett Commences Securities Suit in S.D. TX
ENRON CORPORATION: Gottesdiener Firm Adds New ERISA Suit Allegations
ENRON CORPORATION: Wolf Haldenstein Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. TX
ENRON CORPORATION: Donovan Searles Initiates Securities Suit in S.D. NY

FLORIDA POWER: Supreme Court To Hear Appeal On Age Discrimination Suit
HEALTHTEC INTERNATIONAL: AZ Securities Suit Dismissed Without Prejudice
MBNA CORPORATION: Settles Advertising Fraud Suit For $5.1M in DE
MICROSOFT CORPORATION: West Virginia Files Antitrust Violations Suit
NETZERO INC.: Marc Henzel Initiates Securities Suit in S.D. New York

NEW FOCUS: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Suit in N.D. California
SAGENT TECHNOLOGY: Schiffrin Barroway Files Securities Suit in N.D. CA
SAGENT TECHNOLOGY: Cauley Geller Initiates Securities Suit in N.D. CA
SEQUENOM INC.: Lovell Stewart Initiates Securities Suit in S.D. NY
SIRIUS SATELLITE: Cohen Milstein Initiates Securities Suit in S.D. NY

SRI SURGICAL: Schiffrin Barroway Commences Securities Suit in M.D. FL
STARMEDIA NETWORKS: Stull Stull Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
TRICO STEEL: Settles Suit Filed By Former Employees for $850,000
UNITED KINGDOM: Businessmen ask Agencies To Disclose FMD Files
WEBMETHODS INC.: Lovell Stewart Initiates Securities Suit in S.D. NY

                             *********


AETNA INC.: Bernard Gross Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. Pennsylvania
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Bernard M. Gross PC commenced a securities class action in the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania on behalf all persons who purchased and/or
acquired Aetna, Inc. (NYSE:AET) common stock between December 1, 2000
and April 9, 2001 in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania, against the Company and executive officers of
Aetna:

     (1) William H. Donaldson and

     (2) John W. Rowe

The suit charges defendants with violations of sections 10(b) and 20(a)
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.

The suit alleges that during the class period, the defendants announced
that they had reached a definitive agreement to sell the Company's
financial services and international businesses to ING Groep N.V. In an
integrated transaction, the Company also planned to spin-off its
domestic healthcare and large case pensions businesses in the form of
New Aetna to its shareholders. The suit likewise alleges that in order
to insure the sale and spin-off were successful, the defendants misled
the investing public by falsely representing, among other things, that
the New Aetna was implementing a number of strategic and operative
initiatives which addressed rising medical costs and improved
operations efficiency.

In truth and in fact, Aetna was experiencing escalating medical costs
due to:

     (i) significant problems in its overpayment of claims or paying
         single claims multiple times;

    (ii) inadequate pricing for risk enrollment;

   (iii) adverse selection;

    (iv) provider reimbursement rates, contracting issues; and

     (v) increased short term utilization.

Then, on April 10, 2001, before the market opened, the Company shocked
the investing community by announcing that the Company's first quarter
2001 results were expected to be significantly lower than estimated as
a result of increased medical costs due to higher utilization of
healthcare services in the fourth quarter of 2000 and first quarter of
2001. Aetna announced that it expected to record in the first quarter
approximately $90 million before tax of additional medical costs
related to services performed in prior periods, primarily the fourth
quarter 2000. The remainder reflected a fourth quarter commercial HMO
medical cost trend, based on current information, of approximately 13%,
compared to the 12% that was estimated previously.  As a result of this
announcement, the price of the Company's common stock plunged from
$36.15 on April 9, 2001 to a low of $28.75 on April 10, 2001, a
decrease of over 20% on heavy trading volume.

For more information, contact Susan Gross or Deborah R. Gross by Mail:
1515 Locust Street, 2nd Floor Philadelphia, PA 19102 by Phone:
800.849.3120(toll-free), 866.561.3600(toll-free) or 215.561.3600 by E-
mail: susang@bernardmgross.com or debbie@bernardmgross.com or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.bernardmgross.com


AETNA INC.: Savett Frutkin Initiates Securities Suit in Pennsylvania
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Savett Frutkin Podell & Ryan PC commenced a securities class action on
behalf of a class of persons who purchased the common stock of Aetna,
Inc. (NYSE:AET) between December 1, 2000 and April 9, 2001 in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
against the Company and officers:

     (1) John W. Rowe, Chief Executive Officer, and

     (2) William H. Donaldson, Chairman

The suit charges defendants with violations of sections 10(b) and 20(a)
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.  The defendants allegedly announced that they had reached a
definitive agreement to sell the Company's financial services and
international businesses to ING Groep N.V.  In an integrated
transaction, the Company also planned to spin-off its domestic
healthcare and large case pensions businesses in the form of New Aetna,
to its shareholders.

The suit alleges that defendants misled the investing public by falsely
representing that the New Aetna was implementing a number of strategic
and operative initiatives which addressed among other things rising
medical costs and improved operations efficiency and that the New Aetna
had adequate reserves for its medical expenses.

In truth and in fact, the Company had recorded inadequate reserves for
its medical expenses and was experiencing escalating medical costs due
to:

     (i) significant problems in its overpayment of claims or paying
         single claims multiple times;

    (ii) inadequate pricing for risk enrollment;

   (iii) adverse selection;

    (iv) provider reimbursement rates, contracting issues; and

     (v) increased short term utilization.

Then, on April 10, 2001, before the market opened, the Company shocked
the investing community by announcing that its first quarter 2001
results were expected to be significantly lower than estimated as a
result of increased medical costs due to higher utilization of
healthcare services in the fourth quarter 2000 and the first quarter
2001. Aetna also announced that it expected to record in the first
quarter approximately $90 million before tax of additional medical
costs related to services performed in prior periods, primarily the
fourth quarter 2000.  As a result of this announcement, the price of
the Company's common stock plunged from $36.15 on April 9, 2001 to a
low of $28.75 on April 10, 2001, on heavy trading volume.

For more information, contact Robert P. Frutkin or Renee C. Nixon by
Phone: 800.993.3233 by E-mail: mail@savettlaw.com or visit the firm's
Website: http://www.savettlaw.com/


APROPOS TECHNOLOGY: Stull Stull Commences Securities Suit in N.D. IL
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Stull Stull and Brody LLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, on
behalf of purchasers of Apropos Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:APRS) common
stock pursuant to or traceable to the registration statement and
prospectus against the Company, its top directors and the underwriters
who helped take it public.

The suit alleges violations of federal securities laws by making false
statements about the composition of the Company's management team in
regulatory filings linked to its initial public offering. According to
the complaint, the prospectus for the February 17, 2000 offering
falsely stated that co-founders Patrick K. Brady and William W. Bach
were active members of its executive management team when they had
sopped playing important roles within the company months before the
prospectus was issued.

The prospectus listed Brady as Chief Technology Officer and Bach as
Vice President of Technology, but Company President and CEO Kevin G.
Kerns had effectively ousted Brady after a power struggle that
culminated in July 1999. Though Brady maintained his title, he no
longer had a company office or any employees who reported to him.  
Similarly, Kerns stripped Bach of his executive managerial
responsibilities and involvement in shaping the Apropos' core
technology.

Kerns, who became the de-facto Chief Technology Officer, attempted to
hire a replacement for Brady before the prospectus was issued, but was
unsuccessful. So, Brady and Bach were listed in the prospectus as
technology officers. The Company issued nearly 4 million shares of
common stock at $22 per share, to thousands of investors, based on
offering materials that falsely stated that the founders who designed
its key technological product were managing the company.

For more information, contact Tzivia Brody by Mail: 6 East 45th Street
New York, NY 10017 by Phone: 1.800.337.4983 (toll-free) by Fax: 212.
490.2022 or by E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com.


ARVIDA/JMB PARTNERS: Discovery In FL Homeowners' Suit In Early Stages  
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Arvida/JMB Partners LP faces a homeowner class action relating to
damages wrought by Hurricane Andrew on Lakes of the Meadow Village
Homes in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for
Dade County, Florida.  The suit also names as defendant Walt Disney
World Corporation, who owned 80% of the Company's assets when the Lakes
of the Meadow complex was built.

The suit was filed on behalf of the 460 building units' owners,
alleging damages discovered in the course of making Hurricane Andrew
repairs.  The suit further allege that Walt Disney World Company is
responsible for liabilities that may arise in connection with
approximately 80% of the buildings at the Lakes of the Meadow Village
Homes and that the Company is potentially liable for the approximately
20% remaining amount of the buildings.  The plaintiffs later filed a
three count amended complaint, which asserts claims for breach of
building codes and breach of implied warranties.  

Previously, the Court granted the Company summary judgment against the
plaintiffs' claims, but the ruling was reversed on appeal, the
appellate court finding that there were issues of material fact, which
precluded the entry of judgment for the Company.  The case was remanded
to the trial court for further proceedings.  

In April 1999, the plaintiffs supplied a budget estimate for repairs of
the alleged defects and damages based on a limited survey of nine
buildings, only, out of a total of 115 buildings.  Based on this
limited survey and assuming that the same alleged defects and damages
show up with the same frequency in the entire 460 building units, the
plaintiffs estimate the total repairs to cost approximately $7 million.
The plaintiffs have indicated that they may try to hold the Company
responsible for the entire amount of alleged damages owing.

The Company has tendered this matter to Disney pursuant to the
Company's indemnification rights.  The Company has also filed a third-
party complaint against Disney pursuant to its rights of contractual
indemnity.  Additionally, the Company answered the amended complaint
and has filed a cross-claim against Disney's affiliate, Walt Disney
World Company, for common law indemnity and contribution.  

Discovery in this litigation is in its early stages.  The Company has
not examined all of the buildings nor fully assessed the alleged merits
of the plaintiffs' report, but intends to vigorously defend itself
against the allegations in the suit.


BAXTER INTERNATIONAL: Company Consents To $2.89M In Spanish Payments
------------------------------------------------------------------
Baxter International agrees to pay a total of $2.89 million to the
families of 10 people who died after using the Company's blood filters
at kidney dialysis clinics in Spain this year, the Financial Times
recently reported.  The out-of-court agreement between the U.S.
healthcare company and the victims' families comes three weeks after
the Company discovered potentially toxic contamination in its Althane
brand blood filters.

Baxter is expected to face significantly larger claims from the
families of patients involved in a US lawsuit over the deaths. The US
lawsuit, which is seeking class-action status, was filed in Chicago, in
November, and could drag on for some time.  The plaintiffs' attorneys
have said they expect more cases to surface after doctors around the
world re-examine the records of patients who died after dialysis with
the filters.

At least 51 patients worldwide are believed to have died as a result of
using the identified filters.  The Company declined to comment,
however, on other settlement negotiations or other cases filed against
it but said it would treat all affected families "fairly and
respectfully."

Analysts say the Company, which has taken a charge of $150 million to
cover potential costs associated with the filters, is unlikely to face
bankruptcy over the lawsuits.  Its reputation has been damaged by
the incident, but analysts said its quick action in identifying the
problem lessened the blow.


CANADA: Court Dismisses Suit Claiming Court Security Checks "Illegal"
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Queen's Bench Justice Barbara Hamilton dismissed an unusual class
action in which a man sued the Manitoba, Canada government for $300
million on behalf of hundreds of thousands of people he claims have
been illegally searched when entering the downtown law courts, the
Winnipeg Free Press reported recently.  Leslie Neufeld, the lead
plaintiff, also had his own personal appeal rejected, in which he was
seeking $500 for each of the 19 times he claims sheriff's officers
forced him to pass through a security checkpoint which has been in
place since August 1998.

Neufeld's lawsuit stemmed from a late 1999 Manitoba Court of Appeal
decision, which found the security checks were a violation of the
Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  The Legislature, in response to the
Appeal Court's ruling, passed new legislation in April 2000, which made
the security checks legal.  However, Neufeld, who was required to
come to the court regularly for maintenance enforcement issues,
contended that the searches conducted from August 1998 until April 2000
were illegal, and he cited the court's 1999 decision.

Justice Hamilton rejected Neufeld's claims in a written decision,
stating that his lawsuit does not meet the criteria of "class action"
because there is no evidence that anyone other than Neufeld wants to be
party to a legal battle.  "I conclude that Mr. Neufeld is on a fishing
expedition for class members to support his stated motivation of
holding the government financially accountable for the 600,000
`violations of the Charter of Rights.'" wrote Justice Hamilton.

Ian Histed, Neufeld's attorney, argued that the government should be
forced to finance the costs of giving notice and seeking out any other
interested parties around the province, but Justice Hamilton declined
to support such measures.  "Many of these searches would have been of
the same individuals who attended the courthouse on more than one
occasion.  Whether the number of individuals is 50,000 or 100,000 or
300,000, it is fair to say it is an incredible number of individuals
who are potentially members of this purported class," she said.\

"Mr. Neufeld cannot adequately represent the class, and proceeding with
the class action is the least efficient manner of proceeding to
determine the legal issues in this case," the Justice wrote.  She then
rejected Neufeld's personal claim.  "Governments should be free to
carry out their mandate, without concern that the taxpayers will
ultimately face a huge liability," Justice Hamilton wrote.


ENRON CORPORATION: Gold Bennett Commences Securities Suit in S.D. TX
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Gold Bennett Cera & Sidener LLP initiated a securities class action in
the United States District Court Southern District of Texas, Houston
Division, on behalf of the purchasers of Enron Corporation (NYSE: ENE)
securities during the period of November 15, 1998 through November 8,
2001, inclusive.

The suit alleges that defendants, including Arthur Andersen LLP, the
Company's outside public accounting firm, violated Sections 10(b) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder. Specifically, the suit alleges that the Company's financial
statements issued during the class period materially overstated its
financial condition because of the failure to consolidate the Company's
financial statements with the financial results of certain "related-
party" partnerships which had been operated and controlled by the
Company's senior officers.  The failure to properly consolidate the
Company's financial results with the partnerships allegedly enabled it
to, among other things, keep approximately a half billion dollars in
debt off its books. Arthur Andersen is alleged to have condoned the
accounting violations by improperly issuing clean audit opinions on the
Company's financial statements for fiscal years 1997, 1998, 1999, and
2000 and by falsely representing that its audits had been conducted in
accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

For more information, contact Gwendolyn Giblin by Mail: 595 Market
Street, Suite 2300, San Francisco, California 94105 by Phone:
800.778.1822 or 415.777.2230 by Fax: 415.777.5189 or by E-mail:
Enron@gbcsf.com.


ENRON CORPORATION: Gottesdiener Firm Adds New ERISA Suit Allegations
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The Gottesdiener Law Firm added new allegations to its 401(k) class
action against Enron Corporation (NYSE:ENE), charging Arthur Andersen,
LLP of Chicago with knowingly participating in the Company's fraud on
employees.  The new allegations, accuse Arthur Andersen of knowingly
participating in the Company's fiduciary breaches toward employees by
actively helping it conceal its true financial condition of the Company
and the imprudence of investing in the Company's stock.

The suit details how Arthur Andersen:

     (1) falsely represented that the Company's financial statements
         conformed to generally accepted accounting practices;

     (2) falsely represented that its audits of the Company's financial
         statements had been performed in accordance with generally
         accepted auditing standards; and

     (3) knowingly issued and consented to the issuance of numerous
         false financial reports, all of which were necessary to the
         Company's scheme to present itself in a false light to
         investors and employees.

Eli Gottesdiener, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, explained the move,
saying, "As Enron collapses, we are obviously going to have to look
elsewhere to get some justice for Enron employees.It's obvious that
Andersen helped Enron cook the books. Andersen's Houston office was
pulling in $1 million a week from Enron - their objectivity went out
the window."  In 2000, Gottesdiener said, the Company paid Andersen $25
million in fees related to the audit of its financial statements, and
another $27 million for non-audit related work.

On November 30, 2001, the Wall Street Journal reported that SEC has
already served the accounting firm with subpoenas.  Last Sunday,
December 2, 2001, the former Chief Accountant with the SEC, Lynn
Turner, called for a criminal probe of Arthur Andersen's role in the
affair. Representatives. Billy Tauzin (R. La.) and John Dingell (D-
Mich.) of the House Commerce Committee have also stated their intention
to hold hearings on Arthur Andersen's handling of the Company's books.

New claims were also added against the 401(k) plan's trustee, Chicago-
based Northern Trust Company, and the plan's record keeper, Northern
Trust Retirement Consulting, LLC, for its role of the "lockdown" of
employees in the Plan in October and November 2001. The suit seeks to
hold the two Northern Trust entities accountable under the federal
retirement law known as ERISA for their roles in recommending and
imposing an administrative "freeze" of the plan for nearly a month
while the Company's stock was sliding and thousands of participants
wanted to sell shares before they lost even more of their value.

Gottesdiener said that Northern Trust had an obligation to refuse to
participate in the lockdown.  "It should have been obvious in mid-
October, after Enron announced huge third-quarter losses and stories
began appearing about its secret Cayman Island partnerships, that
participants needed to be free, like other investors, to get out of
Enron stock while they could without suffering a complete loss."

He added "The explanations we've seen for why they didn't postpone the
lockdown - such as, `We were planning this since July' - defy common
sense. The mid-October disclosures resulted in one of the most
catastrophic business failures in history, and Enron and Northern Trust
went ahead with the lockdown anyway. Who cares that it had been in the
works since July? The lockdown just added insult to injury."

For more information, contact Eli Gottesdiener by Phone: 877.720.9285
or 202.243.1000 or by E-mail: info@gottesdienerlaw.com


ENRON CORPORATION: Wolf Haldenstein Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. TX
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP filed an amended complaint in
its class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Texas, on behalf of purchasers of all Preferred
and Preferred-Related Stock of Enron Corporation (NYSE:ENE), who
purchased the Preferred Securities between January 21, 1997 and
November 28, 2001, inclusive against the Company and:

     (1) Kenneth Lay,

     (2) Jeffrey Skilling,

     (3) Andrew Fastow, and

     (4) Arthur Andersen LLP, the international certified public
         accounting firm which audited the Company's financial
         statements during the relevant period

The amended complaint alleges that defendants:

     (i) violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
         Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, by issuing materially
         false and misleading statements during the class period that
         had the effect of artificially inflating the market price of
         the Company's Preferred Securities and

    (ii) made negligent misrepresentations under Texas state law. The
         class period for the federal securities law claims is from
         November 28, 1998 through November 28, 2001, inclusive. The
         Class Period for the negligent misrepresentation claim is from
         January 21, 1997 through November 27, 1998, inclusive.

This lawsuit is brought on behalf of only the purchasers of Enron
Preferred Securities, which include, among others, these classes of
stock:

     (a) Enron Capital LLC, 8.00%, 11/30/43 series, 8 million shares
         outstanding, traded on the New York Stock Exchange;

     (b) Enron Capital Trust I, 8.3% Series, 8 million shares
         outstanding, traded on the New York Stock Exchange;
     (c) Enron Capital Trust II, 8.1250% series (preferred R), 6
         million shares outstanding, traded on the New York Stock
         Exchange;

     (d) Enron Capital Trust III, 200,000 shares outstanding;

     (e) Enron Capital Resources LP, 9.0%, 8/31/24 Series A, 3 million
         shares outstanding, traded on the New York Stock Exchange;

     (f) Portland General Electric, 7.75%, 6/15/07 series, 300,000
         shares outstanding, traded on the NASDAQ;

     (g) Portland General Electric, 8.25%, 12/31/35 Series A, 3 million
         shares outstanding, traded on the New York Stock Exchange;

For more information, contact George Peters, Derek Behnke, Robert B.
Weintraub, Jeffrey G. Smity or Daniel W. Krasner by Mail: 270 Madison
Avenue, New York, New York 10016 by Phone: 800.575.0735 by E-mail:
classmember@whafh.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.whafh.com.Your e-mail should refer to Enron Preferred  
Securities.


ENRON CORPORATION: Donovan Searles Initiates Securities Suit in S.D. NY
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Donovan Searles LLC commenced a securities class action lawsuit was
filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Texas (Houston Division) on behalf of all persons who purchased Enron
Corporation (NYSE:ENE) common stock between March 30, 2000 and October
18, 2001, inclusive against:

     (1) Kenneth L. Lay,

     (2) Jeffrey K. Skilling,

     (3) Andrew S. Fastow and

     (4) Arthur Andersen LLP.

Enron Corporation is not named as a defendant in the action due to its
filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The suit alleges that, during the class period, the individual
defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934, by among other things, issuing materially false and
misleading statements to the investing public regarding the Company's
financial condition, operations and transactions, including its
shareholder equity.

The suit alleges that defendants misled investors:

     (i) by reporting assets that were overvalued by more than $1
         billion, which caused writedowns, the restatement of the
         Company's financial reports and the announcement that
         previously filed financial reports were unreliable;

    (ii) by concealing facts regarding relationships with a related
         entity that led to a more than $1 billion reduction of
         shareholders' equity and a multi-million charge; and

   (iii) by failing to disclose the fact that agreements with other
         related entities may require the Company to issue large
         amounts of its shares.

The suit further alleges that the Company's auditor, Arthur Andersen
LLP, issued materially misleading audit opinions when it was aware of,
or recklessly disregarded, facts indicating that the Company's
financial statements did not conform with generally accepted accounting
principles. This misconduct caused the market prices of Company
securities to be artificially inflated during the class period. For
example, the market price of the Company's common stock has since
fallen from a high of $90 per share during the class period to a low of
27(cent) per share.

For more information, contact Michael D. Donovan by Mail: 1845 Walnut
Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19103 by Phone: 800.619.1677 or
215.732.6067 by E-mail: mdonovan@donovansearles.com or visit the firm's
Website: http://www.donovansearles.com


FLORIDA POWER: Supreme Court To Hear Appeal On Age Discrimination Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Florida Supreme Court agreed recently to decide whether older
people may use a civil rights lawsuit to claim their employers
discriminated against them based on their age.  The Court said it will
hear an appeal from fired Florida utility workers who claim that
company layoffs fell disproportionately on older workers, the
Associated Press reported recently.

The case involves a class-action lawsuit filed by former Florida Power
employees who were 40 or older when fired as part of company
reorganizations in the early 1990s.  The workers claim they were fired
because Florida Power wanted to change its image and reduce its costs
for salaries and pensions.  More than 70 percent of the laid-off
workers were 40 or older, the lawsuit claims.


HEALTHTEC INTERNATIONAL: AZ Securities Suit Dismissed Without Prejudice
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The law firms Wechsler Harwood Halebian & Feffer LLP and Abbey Gardy
LLP voluntarily dismissed the securities class action filed on behalf
of purchasers of the common stock of HealthTech International, Inc.
(formerly NASDAQ symbol: GYMM) during the period February 28, 1996
through November 17, 1997 in the United States District Court for the
District of Arizona

The suit originated from several class actions commenced in December
1997 against the Company, certain executive officers and the Company'
auditors, Smith, Dance & Co, alleging violations of Section 10(b) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder. In addition, the suits alleged that Company
executives, as control persons, violated Section 20(a) of the Exchange
Act. Finally, the suits alleged state law violations against both the
the Company and Smith Dance and Co.  The suits were later consolidated
and an amended complaint was filed in or about October 1998.

>From inception, a key individual defendant, Gordan L. Hall, the Chief
Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of HealthTech was absent
from this litigation. Hall was arrested around the time of the first
filed complaints for violating federal securities laws and eventually
sentenced to seven years imprisonment in the fall of 1999.

In addition, the Company and Smith Dance and Co. filed for bankruptcy  
on July 21, 1999 and November 11, 1999, respectively. Neither the
Company nor Smith Dance and Co. carried Directors & Officers Liability
insurance or its equivalent.

During this period the plaintiffs entered into settlement negotiations
with defendants, including Hall. A Magistrate Judge aided in this
process. However, these efforts failed once they proved that any result
would yield little economic benefit to the class.

During the period of settlement negotiations, the Company's bankruptcy
petition was dismissed, but after its only viable asset was foreclosed
upon (over plaintiffs' objections) leaving no equity for the Class or
the Company. Smith Dance seeks liquidation under Chapter 7 of the
Bankruptcy Code. This action is still pending in the Bankruptcy Court
for the Northern District of Texas. Other individual defendants
attested that they were judgment proof. Finally, efforts to re-list  
Company securities were rejected by the responsible regulatory
authorities. Given these and other events, the plaintiffs moved for an
order of voluntary dismissal, which was granted by the court on
November 19, 2001.

For more information, contact Mark C. Gardy or Karen Fisch by Mail: 212
East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016 by Phone: 212.889.3700.  
Interested parties can also contact John Halebian or Frederick W.
Gerkens III by Mail: 488 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10022 or by Phone:
212.935.7400


MBNA CORPORATION: Settles Advertising Fraud Suit For $5.1M in DE
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Delaware granted
final approval to a $5.1 million settlement proposed by MBNA
Corporation to settle a class action charging the Company with
fraudulent and deceptive advertising.  Plaintiff Andrew B. Spark
commenced the suit in 1998 against the Company and:

     (1) subsidiary MBNA America, National Bank and certain of its
         officers; and

     (2) MBNA Marketing Systems, Inc.

The suit alleges the Company's advertising of its cash promotional
annual percentage rate program was fraudulent and deceptive. The suit
asserts claims against the defendants of:

     (i) breach of contract;

    (ii) violation of the Delaware Deceptive Trade Practices Act; and

   (iii) violation of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
         Organizations Act.

The court certified the lawsuit as a class action in February 1998.  In
September 2000, the court gave preliminary approval to a settlement of
this suit for approximately $8.7 million, and set a hearing on final
approval for May 24, 2001. On August 1, 2001, the court approved the
settlement pay out, including fees and costs, of approximately $5.1
million. The plaintiff and various members of the class who had filed
objections to the proposed settlement have appealed the order approving
the settlement to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.


MICROSOFT CORPORATION: West Virginia Files Antitrust Violations Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------------
West Virginia Attorney General Darrel McGraw commenced a class action
suit against software giant Microsoft Corporation, accusing the Company
of abusing its monopoly in the PC operating systems market and of
overcharging customers for Company software, according to a Reuters
report.

The suit charges the Company of violating state antitrust and consumer-
protection laws through unfair business practices and asks the court to
impose unspecified damages and sanctions against the company, an
attorney representing the state told Reuters. The suit also cites two
violations of West Virginia consumer-protection law, one that prohibits
"unfair and deceptive practices" and another that bars companies from
selling products below cost "with the intent to destroy competition," a
Reuters report revealed.

By filing the suit, McGraw positioned the state to opt out of an
agreement negotiated by the Justice Department and Microsoft early this
month to settle the federal case against the Company.  Nine of the 18
states involved in the case joined that pact within days, but the
remaining nine states dissented, saying the sanctions on the Company
are not tough enough. The suit will also be affected by US District
Judge J. Frederick Motz's decision on the Company's proposed $1 billion
settlement to hundreds of private lawsuits.  The settlement has met
both praise and rabid criticism and is now on review in Baltimore
federal court.  California attorneys have dissented against the
settlement, asking Judge Motz to to strike down the settlement or allow
their lawsuits to proceed separately in California. According to a
Reuters report, the remaining states are scheduled to file new
documents with the district court on Friday that outline their proposal
for stricter remedies against the company.


NETZERO INC.: Marc Henzel Initiates Securities Suit in S.D. New York
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Office of Marc S. Henzel commenced a securities class action in
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf
of all persons and entities who purchased, converted, exchanged or
otherwise acquired the common stock of NetZero, Inc. (Nasdaq: NZRO)
between September 23, 1999 and April 18, 2001, inclusive against the
Company and:

     (1) Mark R. Goldston, its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,

     (2) Ronald T. Burr, its President and director,

     (3) James A. Armstrong, director,

     (4) Jennifer S. Fonstad, director,

     (5) Bill Gross, director,

     (6) David C. Bohnett, former director,

     (7) Paul G. Koontz, former director,

     (8) The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.,

     (9) Salomon Smith Barney, Inc. and

    (10) BancBoston Robertson Stephens, Inc.

The suit asserts claims under Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the Securities
Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated by the SEC thereunder.  The suit
alleges that the defendants violated the federal securities laws by
issuing and selling the Company's common stock pursuant to the
September 23, 1999 IPO without disclosing to investors that some of the
underwriters in the offering, including the lead underwriters, had
solicited and received excessive and undisclosed commissions from
certain investors. In exchange for the excessive commissions, the
complaint alleges, the underwriters allocated Company shares to
customers at the IPO price of $16.00 per share. To receive the
allocations at $16.00, the underwriters' brokerage customers had to
agree to purchase additional shares in the aftermarket at progressively
higher prices.

The requirement that customers make additional purchases at
progressively higher prices as the price of Company stock rocketed
upward was intended to drive Company share price up to artificially
high levels. This artificial price inflation, the complaint alleges,
enabled both the underwriters and their customers to reap enormous
profits by buying stock at the $16.00 IPO price and then selling it
later for a profit at inflated aftermarket prices, which rose as high
as $30.63 during its first day of trading.  Rather than allowing their
customers to keep their profits from the IPO, the complaint alleges,
the underwriters required their customers to "kick back" some of their
profits in the form of secret commissions. These secret commission
payments were sometimes calculated after the fact based on how much
profit each investor had made from his or her IPO stock allocation.

The complaint further alleges that defendants violated the Securities
Act of 1933 because the prospectus distributed to investors and the
registration statement filed with the SEC in order to gain regulatory
approval for the Company offering contained material misstatements
regarding the commissions that the underwriters would derive from the
IPO transaction and failed to disclose the additional commissions and
"laddering" scheme discussed above.

For more information, contact Marc S. Henzel by Mail: 273 Montgomery
Ave., Suite 202 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone: 610.660.8000 or 888.
643.6735 by Fax: 610.660.8080 by E-Mail: mhenzel182@aol.com or visit
the firm's Website: http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182        


NEW FOCUS: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Suit in N.D. California
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Office of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class action
complaint in the United States District Court for the Northorn District
of California on behalf of all persons who acquired New Focus, Inc.
(Nasdaq: NUFO) securities between January 30, 2001 and March 5, 2001,
inclusive against the Company and certain of its officers and
directors.

The suit charges that the defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, by issuing a materially false
and misleading press release, raising the Company's revenue guidance
for the fiscal year 2001 from $150 million to $240 million. This press
release, issued on January 30, 2201, caused the Company's stock price
to artificially escalate.

During those five business days following the announcement, defendants
sold over $35 million of their own stock, all the while knowing that
the Company still had problems with inventory build-up and delayed and
canceled orders from customers. Five weeks later, defendants admitted
to the Company's problems and lowered the guidance for the fiscal year
2001 to $170-190 million, sending the price of New Focus stock to close
at $18 7/8, down almost 70% from its class period high.

For more information, contact Marc S. Henzel by Mail: 273 Montgomery
Ave., Suite 202 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone: 610.660.8000 or 888.
643.6735 by Fax: 610.660.8080 by E-Mail: mhenzel182@aol.com or visit
the firm's Website: http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182       


SAGENT TECHNOLOGY: Schiffrin Barroway Files Securities Suit in N.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin and Barroway LLP commenced a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of California on
behalf of all purchasers of the common stock of Sagent Technology, Inc.
(NASDAQ:SGNTE) from May 11, 2001 through November 28, 2001, inclusive.

The suit charges the Company and certain of its officers and directors
with issuing false and misleading statements concerning the company's
business and financial condition. The suit also alleges that during the
class period, defendants caused Company shares to trade at artificially
inflated levels through the issuance of false and misleading financial
statements. As a result of this inflation, the Company was able to
complete a private placement offering of 9.1 million shares, raising
net proceeds of $16.8 million on August 1, 2001.

On November 15, 2001, just months after this offering was completed,
the Company revealed that its 3rd quarter results, and possibly other
quarters, were false when issued. The stock dropped below $.70 per
share on this news. Then, on November 28, 2001, after the market
closed, defendants revealed that the Company's 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarter
results had been materially misstated and would have to be restated.

For more information, contact Marc A. Topaz or Stuart L. Berman by
Mail: Three Bala Plaza East, Suite 400, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone:
1.888.299.7706 (toll free) or 1.610.667.7706 or by E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com


SAGENT TECHNOLOGY: Cauley Geller Initiates Securities Suit in N.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates LLP commenced a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California on behalf of purchasers of Sagent Technology, Inc.
(NASDAQ:SGNTE) publicly traded securities during the period between May
11, 2001 and November 28, 2001, inclusive.

The complaint charges the Company and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
The suit alleges that during the class period, defendants caused the
Company's shares to trade at artificially inflated levels through the
issuance of false and misleading financial statements. As a result of
this inflation, the Company was able to complete a private placement
offering of 9.1 million shares, raising net proceeds of $16.8 million
on August 1, 2001.

On November 15, 2001, just months after this offering was completed,
the Company revealed that its 3rd quarter results, and possibly other
quarters, were false when issued. The stock dropped below $0.70 per
share on this news. Then, on November 28, 2001, after the market
closed, defendants revealed that the Company's 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarte
results had been materially misstated and would have to be restated.

For more information, contact Jackie Addison, Sue Null or Shelly
Nicholson by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock, AR 72221-5438 by Phone:
1.888.551.9944 by E-mail: info@classlawyer.com or visit the firm's
Website: http://www.classlawyer.com


SEQUENOM INC.: Lovell Stewart Initiates Securities Suit in S.D. NY
------------------------------------------------------------------
Lovell & Stewart LLP lodged a securities class action on behalf of all
persons and entities who purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise
acquired the common stock of Sequenom, Inc. (NasdaqNM:SQNM) between
January 31, 2000 and December 6, 2000, inclusive against the Company,
certain of its officers and directors, and underwriters:

     (1) UBS Warburg LLC,

     (2) FleetBoston Robertson Stephens, Inc.,

     (3) SG Cowen Securities Corporation,

     (4) Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc.,

     (5) Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corporation,

     (6) Chase H&Q (formerly known as Hambrecht & Quist LLC),

     (7) Lehman Brothers, Inc.,

     (8) Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Incorporated and

     (9) Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., Incorporated

The suit asserts claims under Section 11, 12 and 15 of the Securities
Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated by the SEC thereunder and is pending
in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The suit alleges that the defendants violated the federal securities
laws by issuing and selling Company common stock pursuant to the
initial public offering without disclosing to investors that several of
the underwriters of the IPO had solicited and received excessive and
undisclosed commissions from certain investors. In exchange for the
excessive commissions, the complaint alleges, defendants allocated
Company shares to customers at the IPO price of $26.00 per share. To
receive the allocations at $26.00, the underwriters' brokerage
customers had to agree to purchase additional shares in the aftermarket
at progressively higher prices.

The requirement that customers make additional purchases at
progressively higher prices as the price of Company stock rocketed
upward was intended to drive the Company's share price up to
artificially high levels. This artificial price inflation, the
complaint alleges, enabled both the underwriters and their customers to
reap enormous profits by buying Company stock at the $26.00 IPO price
and then selling it later for a profit at inflated aftermarket prices,
which rose as high as $99.75 during its first day of trading. Rather
than allowing their customers to keep their profits from the IPO, the
complaint alleges, the defendant underwriters required their customers
to "kick back" some of their profits in the form of secret commissions.
These secret commission payments were sometimes calculated after the
fact based on how much profit each investor had made from his or her
IPO stock allocation.

The complaint further alleges that defendants violated the Securities
Act of 1933 because the prospectus distributed to investors and the
registration statement filed with the SEC in order to gain regulatory
approval for the offering contained material misstatements regarding
the commissions that the underwriters would derive from the IPO and
failed to disclose the additional commissions and "laddering" scheme
discussed above.

For more details, contact Christopher Lovell, Victor E. Stewart or Ian
T. Stoll by Mail: 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10110 by Phone:
212.608.1900 by E-mail: sklovell@aol.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.lovellstewart.com   


SIRIUS SATELLITE: Cohen Milstein Initiates Securities Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Cohen Milstein Hausfeld & Toll PLLC commenced a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Sirius Satellite
Radio, Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) during the period of February 17, 2000
through and including April 2, 2001.

The suit alleges that defendants violated sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5, promulgated
thereunder, by failing to disclose facts known to them, or recklessly
disregarded by them, which demonstrated that the announced commercial
launch dates for the Company's satellites required for the Company's
service, published throughout the class period, could not be met.
Defendants knew, or recklessly disregarded, that it would be impossible
for the Company to offer its service commercially by the end of 2000,
as initially disclosed, or early in 2001, as subsequently disclosed.

The complaint alleges that at all times during the class period
defendants issued materially false and misleading statements and press
releases concerning when the Company's service would be commercially
available, which caused the market price of common stock to be
artificially inflated.  When the truth about the Company's business was
revealed to the public, the price of Company stock dropped
dramatically.

For more information, contact Andrew N. Friedman or Mary Ann Fink by
Phone: 888.240.0775 or 202.408.4600 by E-mail: afriedman@cmht.com or
mfink@cmht.com or visit the firm's Website: http://www.cmht.com


SRI SURGICAL: Schiffrin Barroway Commences Securities Suit in M.D. FL
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin and Barroway initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Middle District Court of Florida,
Tampa Division on behalf of all purchasers of the common stock of SRI
Surgical Express Incorporated (NASDAQ:STRC) from July 23, 2001 through
November 27, 2001, inclusive.

The complaint charges the Company and certain of its officers and
directors with issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the
market before and during the class period, thereby artificially
inflating the price of Company common stock. Specifically, the suit
alleges that defendants issued a series of press releases touting the
Company's new customer contracts such as the HealthTrust Purchasing
Group contract announced on May 1, 2001, as well as "record" financial
results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2001. In response, the
Company stock soared to over $41 per share in September 2001, and the
Company was named to the Forbes magazine list of the best small
companies in the country.

The complaint also states that, unbeknownst to the investing public who
purchased Company stock during the class period at artificially
inflated prices, the Company's business and financial conditions were
rapidly deteriorating. Indeed, on November 27, 2001, defendants
revealed that the Company's previously issued financial statements for
the third quarter of 2001 were false and that the Company's revenues
and earnings were actually $1,034,000 and $262,000 less, respectively,
than previously reported, and $.04 less per diluted share.

As alleged in the complaint, these "newly" issued results did not meet
analysts' estimates. In addition, the Company revealed that the outlook
for the fourth quarter was far worse than investors had been led to
believe. Defendants reported for the first time that the "pricing
impact of new group purchasing organization arrangements on existing
hospital customers," among other previously undisclosed problems
detailed in the complaint, contributed to the third quarter shortfall
and expected fourth quarter 2001 shortfall.

According to the complaint, in response to the news that the Company
would not meet third or fourth quarter analyst estimates and had
improperly recognized revenue in the third quarter of 2001, Company
stock plunged over 40%, closing at $14.63 on November 28, 2001, on
unusually high volume of 2.7 million shares. The impact of defendants'
improper accounting practices was devastating to Company investors.

For more information, contact Marc A. Topaz or Stuart L. Berman by
Mail: Three Bala Plaza East, Suite 400, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone:
1.888.299.7706 (toll free) or 1.610.667.7706 by E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com


STARMEDIA NETWORKS: Stull Stull Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Stull Stull and Brody initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York, on behalf
of purchasers of the securities of StarMedia Network Inc. (NASDAQ:STRM)
between April 11, 2000 and November 19, 2001, inclusive against the
Company, Fernando J. Espuelas and Steven J. Heller.

The complaint charges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the
market between April 11, 2000 and November 19, 2001 concerning the
Company's financial performance. The suit alleges that the Company
reported artificially inflated financial results in press releases and
filings made with the SEC by improperly recognizing revenue in
violation of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

Specifically, the complaint alleges that two of the Company's primary
subsidiaries, Adnet S.A. de C.V. and StarMedia Mexico, S.A. de C.V.,
had engaged in improper accounting practices which had the effect of
materially overstating the Company's reported revenues and earnings by
at least $10 million. On November 19, 2001, as alleged in the
complaint, the Company issued a press release announcing that based on
the "preliminary" results of an internal investigation into its
accounting practices, it expects to restate its financial statements
for fiscal year 2000 and the first two quarters of 2001 and that those
financial statements should not be relied upon. The Company further
reported that its Chief Financial Officer had "resigned."

Immediately following the announcement of the restatement, the NASDAQ
Stock Market halted trading in the Company's stock, pending the receipt
of additional information from the Company. Company stock last traded
at $0.38 per share, which is 98.5% less than the Class Period high of
$25.50, reached on April 11, 2000.

For more information, contact Tzivia Brody by Mail: 6 East 45th Street,
New York, NY 10017 Phone: 1.800.337.4983 (toll-free) by Fax:
212.490.2022 or by E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com


TRICO STEEL: Settles Suit Filed By Former Employees for $850,000
----------------------------------------------------------------
Trico Steel Company recently agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit
brought by 251 former employees for $850,000.  The laid-off workers
will receive their checks by Christmas, according to a recent
Associated Press report.  Under the terms of the agreement, which must
be approved by a judge at a December 13 hearing, each employee will
receive about $2,500.  About $222,500 will go to attorney fees and
court costs.

Employees sued the Company, which was built along the Tennessee River
with $100 million in state economic incentives,  for closing its
Decatur, Alabama mill on March 22 of this year without giving workers
the legally-required 60-day notice.  The Charlotte, North Carolina-
based Nucor Corporation, the country's second largest steel maker,
recently agreed to purchase Trico for $120 million.   The sale is
contingent upon approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and other
regulatory agencies.


UNITED KINGDOM: Businessmen ask Agencies To Disclose FMD Files
--------------------------------------------------------------
The compensation claim of victims of the foot-and-mouth (FMD) epidemic
against the British government gained momentum this week, with the
filing of a letter with the Treasury Solicitor asking for full
disclosure of documents from the now defunct Ministry of Agriculture,
Fisheries and Food (Maff) and its successor the Department for
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

More than 300 owners of businesses, including hotels, pubs, coffee
shops and tour groups, including Northumberland, Cumbria and Devon
business owners, came together to form the UK Rural Business Campaign
(UKRBC).  These owners allege that they suffered economic losses due to
the government's mismanagement of the FMD outbreak in the middle of the
year.

The government reportedly ordered closed most of the British
countryside during the outbreak and told people to stay away, causing
thousands of rural businesses to suffer severe economic losses.  None
of the businesses received any compensation for losses caused by the
outbreak, which began in February and decimated local economies.
However, livestock farmers, who were the cause of the outbreak, have
been generously compensated by the government, which has repeatedly
ruled out compensating any other type of business.

In a prior issue of the Class Action Reporter, the group said they had
three allegations against the government:

     (1) the government discriminated against rural businesses in
         favour of farmers;

     (2) the government effectively appropriated property without
         compensation, in contravention of a House of Lords ruling in a
         Burmah Oil case that it is illegal for the government to do
         so;

     (3) the government illegally shut down roads that were used by
         cars, despite only having the legal right to shut down roads
         that have no vehicular access.

The filing of the letter with the Treasury Solicitor could precede a
full class action against the government, which could cost it billions
of pounds.  Ian Mitchell, chairman of the campaign, told BBC news that
the action was "the only way to get justice for thousands of rural
businesses."

UKRBC members met with members of parliament last Monday to tell them
about the "continuing and corrosive" human cost of the disease. A woman
told the parliament of finding her farmer son about to commit suicide
with a shotgun after months with no income. Mitchell added ""Many
farmers and businesses are struggling to survive this winter.They have
endured contradictory government advice and countless bungled decisions
from it and its agencies."

Stephen Alexander, of Class Law Solicitors, which is supporting the
campaign, said members were worried about the Animal Health Bill
because it would "empower officials to kill animals suspected of
carrying a disease without right of appeal."  The move was "the most
serious infringement" of the fundamental legal rights citizens enjoy,
according to a BBC report. He added "The people in this country are
unaware of the serious consequences it poses to their freedom."


WEBMETHODS INC.: Lovell Stewart Initiates Securities Suit in S.D. NY
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Lovell & Stewart LLP filed a securities class action on behalf of all
persons and entities who purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise
acquired the common stock of webMethods, Inc. (NasdaqNM:WEBM) between
February 10, 2000 and December 6, 2000, inclusive against the Company,
certain of its officers and directors, and underwriters:

     (1) Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., Incorporated,

     (2) Merrill Lynch, Pierce Fenner & Smith, Incorporated,

     (3) RBC Dain Rauscher, Inc. and

     (4) Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co., Inc.

The suit asserts claims under Section 11, 12 and 15 of the Securities
Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated by the SEC thereunder and is pending
in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The suit alleges that the defendants violated the federal securities
laws by issuing and selling the Company's common stock pursuant to the
initial public offering without disclosing to investors that several of
the underwriters of the IPO had solicited and received excessive and
undisclosed commissions from certain investors.  In exchange for the
excessive commissions, the complaint alleges, defendants allocated
Company shares to customers at the IPO price of $35.00 per share. To
receive the allocations at $35.00, the underwriters' brokerage
customers had to agree to purchase additional shares in the aftermarket
at progressively higher prices.

The requirement that customers make additional purchases at
progressively higher prices as the price of Company stock rocketed
upward was intended to drive Company share price up to artificially
high levels.  This artificial price inflation, the complaint alleges,
enabled both the underwriters and their customers to reap enormous
profits by buying stock at the $35.00 IPO price and then selling it
later for a profit at inflated aftermarket prices, which rose as high
as $215.00 during its first day of trading.  Rather than allowing their
customers to keep their profits from the IPO, the complaint alleges,
the defendant underwriters required their customers to "kick back" some
of their profits in the form of secret commissions. These secret
commission payments were sometimes calculated after the fact based on
how much profit each investor had made from his or her IPO stock
allocation.

The complaint further alleges that defendants violated the Securities
Act of 1933 because the prospectus distributed to investors and the
registration statement filed with the SEC in order to gain regulatory
approval for the Company offering contained material misstatements
regarding the commissions that the underwriters would derive from the
IPO and failed to disclose the additional commissions and "laddering"
scheme discussed above.

For more information, visit the firm's Website:
http://www.lovellstewart.com


                              *********


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Trenton, New Jersey, and
Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.  Enid Sterling, Aurora Fatima
Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick, Editors.

Copyright 2001.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic re-
mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior written
permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to be
reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via e-mail.  
Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same firm for the
term of the initial subscription or balance thereof are $25 each.  For
subscription information, contact Christopher Beard at 240/629-3300.

                  * * *  End of Transmission  * * *